While all leaks remain suspect until official news is dropped by Rockstar Games, you know things are heating up when Kotaku joins the fray. In a new report, it seems that a Grand Theft Auto Remastered Trilogy has leaked, bundling GTA 3, Vice City and San Andreas into a remake that's headed to the Nintendo Switch, PC, PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X/S.
Remake rumors regarding the 3D era classic GTA titles have popped up on occasion for years now, but they began swirling these past few months with greater intensity than ever. This can partially be linked to GTA 6 leaks as well, with some sources claiming that the remasters will arrive before the sequel to GTA 5.
Take-Two Interactive themselves have stoked the fire too, as legal teams have targeted a number of mods recently with takedown notices. All mods that have been targeted have remastering or reusing existing 3D era GTA content in common. Being non-profit projects, on paper they should have been protected under Rockstar's official statement regarding fan made content, but were forced to remove the files from hosting sites regardless.
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Additionally, 3 unannounced remasters were recently officially confirmed by Take-Two itself.
This led players to predict that finally, official remasters really are on the way. The mods were taken down to eliminate competition for Rockstar's own remasters - since the first time we reported this happening, Take-Two legal teams have gone on more rounds of mod purging, well and truly clearing the way for the real deal.
While we still have no official news regarding these remasters, Rockstar is well known for keeping things under wraps until the last possible moment, and the sources which have confirmed the existence of the remastered trilogy are the same sources that reliably predicted GTA Online and Red Dead Online content months in advance - if there's ever been such a thing as a credible leak, this is it.
According to the sources, GTA 3, Vice City and San Andreas have all been rebuilt in the Unreal Engine (as opposed to RAGE, for some reason) and the visuals look like "a heavily modded" version of the classic titles. Graphical PC mods for these games have been available for a while now, allowing you to use third party upgrades to play the games with modern-ish visuals, so a similar aesthetic can be expected.
The UI in each game has also been given an overhaul, but they will retain the original design in broad strokes. As for gameplay, the remasters stuck as close to the original as possible, evoking the same feeling and atmosphere as the classic releases.
Rockstar Dundee, a newly acquired studio that was until recently known as Ruffian Games, is mainly working on these remasters while also co-developing the GTA 5: Enhanced and Expanded port hitting current gen consoles and PC this November. In fact, original plans saw the remastered trilogy being included as a free gift in purchases of GTA 5: E&E.
These plans have reportedly changed, mainly due to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. The remastered trilogy won't be included as a freebie, and fans will need to purchase it separately. Even so, it was supposed to launch early this year - but then the pandemic continued, causing a delay. As things stand now, the remastered trilogy will be dropping this holiday season, reportedly before the GTA 5 port.
Rockstar isn't messing around with the launch either, releasing the trilogy on a huge array of platforms. The full list is PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, Switch, PC, Stadia, and mobile - though the PC version might be delayed further, launching in early 2022 while the console releases hit their late 2021 date.
The same sources spilling these beans also stated that Rockstar Games is considering the GTA Remastered Trilogy an experiment of sorts - there are plans in motion to remaster other classic Rockstar titles, especially Red Dead Redemption, but the future of these projects hinges almost entirely on the commercial success of the GTA Remastered Trilogy. If the market proves there is a demand for rereleases of older titles on new platforms with a fresh coat of paint, Rockstar is ready to dive deep into this segment.
Basically, if you want stuff like Red Dead Redemption or Bully - maybe even Manhunt? - remastered and released on newer platforms, make sure to buy GTA Remastered Trilogy when it finally launches later this year. If any franchise can move enough copies to be deemed a success, it's got to be GTA.
GTA Remastered Trilogy is rumored to launch this October or November.